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Casual boot for autumn: Alden Indy vs. White's Main Street

corpseposeur

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I am weighing two options for some new casual boots for the colder months in the Northeastern US. My criteria for boots are that the boots be lace up, but with speed hooks, have a grippy sole for rain/light snow, a hearty suede and that they be manufactured in the US. I do not want work boots, but something that can be worn with Barbour jackets, my brown/purple tweed balmacaan coat, and my camelhair coats.

My search has brought me to two options Alden Indy boots and White's Main Street.


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Alden Indy Boots
I like the silhouette of the Indy boots, and Alden's heritage. I also like the finer details like the soft leather lining and things like the leather piping and when the welts are clean and even they look really nice. However, I am not sure I can justify the price. Not so much for the amount itself but for the fact that I question the return on value of $621 for this pair. In my experience the two pairs of Alden's I own seem to have some QC issues that showed up after I passed the return window. I also find their sizing to be inconsistent. Other reviewers online like Stridewise have also revealed the welts looking weird. For the price I should expect a high level of fit in finish that Alden has a reputation for. Basically if it's perfect, I think I would cough up the cash.

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White's Goodyear welted Main Street.

I'm not the typical White's customer as I don't wear work boots, but their Main Street model has a lot of similarities to the Indy boot. The pricing is much more reasonable at $370 and the company seems to have a reputation for making very tough work boots. Personally, I don't like the 270 Goodyear welt, as I find the 360 welt on Alden's more attractive. These boots also seem to lack Aldens slightly more refined details. I also worry that even though these are more dressy for the brand, they may still be a bit more chunky. Also, I think White's are Made To Order which makes me wonder if it's a bit too late to order them in the year.

Has anyone had experiences with both? What was your impressions as far as quality?
 
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DoubleDouble

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You are spot on in saying that Alden has more refined details. From what I hear about White's (I do not have a pair myself, yet) they make solid boots and great value for the price, but they are not obsessive about less-utilitarian details. For example, the stitching may not be the cleanest—especially when compared to brands that are +50% the price—but the quality of the leather, the soles, and construction are great. I feel like your analysis is spot on and you just have to decide what's better value for your money, or if it's worth to continue looking.
 

johng70

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I own several pair of each. I would concur that Alden's are more refined - but White's are still extremely well made. I would also say that White's other boots have the benefit of their arch ease system which makes them extremely comfortable to stand and walk in. But, not the MPs. The other benefit of White's is the choice of leathers. For example, I have MPs in Burgundy Horsehide - gorgeous boots. White's does both - MTO and OTR - it just depends on whether or not the model is in stock in the size you want. Despite Alden's having more attention to detail, build quality on both is fantastic. To me, given the two snuff choices, it comes down to the more refined look/contrast stitching of the Alden against the price break of White's. Either way, they're both fantastic boots - I have Indys and MPs (neither are suede) and I love them both.
 

corpseposeur

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I own several pair of each. I would concur that Alden's are more refined - but White's are still extremely well made. I would also say that White's other boots have the benefit of their arch ease system which makes them extremely comfortable to stand and walk in. But, not the MPs. The other benefit of White's is the choice of leathers. For example, I have MPs in Burgundy Horsehide - gorgeous boots. White's does both - MTO and OTR - it just depends on whether or not the model is in stock in the size you want. Despite Alden's having more attention to detail, build quality on both is fantastic. To me, given the two snuff choices, it comes down to the more refined look/contrast stitching of the Alden against the price break of White's. Either way, they're both fantastic boots - I have Indys and MPs (neither are suede) and I love them both.

This is very helpful. Thank you. Do you find one to be more dressy than the other? Maybe not to pair with a suit or anything, but a jacket or a nice sweater.

I actually stopped by a local Alden shop and tried a Indy boot. They had a glove like fit in a size 9.5 B/D in the Trubalance last. I also tried another boot on the Grant last..that fit but just didn't have the same feel to it. They didn't have the reverse chamois that I wanted in stock so it'll give me a bit more time to consider my options. Again I noticed some inconsistency in the welt between, off center logo stamping on the sole. Annoying details that again, if the boots were $400 I wouldn't care much about but I expect a bit more precision for $600+. That said, I think given how good the fit was on my foot, I may go with the Alden as long as I can hand select a pair in person.

I think White's might be a bit more of a challenge to try on given that they but it's good to know they're another good option. It appears that my size is backordered. I'll give them a call tomorrow to see what their try-on / return option are.
 

johng70

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This is very helpful. Thank you. Do you find one to be more dressy than the other? Maybe not to pair with a suit or anything, but a jacket or a nice sweater.

I actually stopped by a local Alden shop and tried a Indy boot. They had a glove like fit in a size 9.5 B/D in the Trubalance last. I also tried another boot on the Grant last..that fit but just didn't have the same feel to it. They didn't have the reverse chamois that I wanted in stock so it'll give me a bit more time to consider my options. Again I noticed some inconsistency in the welt between, off center logo stamping on the sole. Annoying details that again, if the boots were $400 I wouldn't care much about but I expect a bit more precision for $600+. That said, I think given how good the fit was on my foot, I may go with the Alden as long as I can hand select a pair in person.

I think White's might be a bit more of a challenge to try on given that they but it's good to know they're another good option. It appears that my size is backordered. I'll give them a call tomorrow to see what their try-on / return option are.
I don't find either style to be dressy - that's just my opinion. I would put them in the "smart casual" category. You could wear with jeans and jacket - that kind of look. But not really with nice trousers/jacket. To me they both work with denim/cords/chinos and button-down.

As for issues with stitching and such, my opinion is the pandemic as created a labor problem for the industry and many makers have more QC issues due to inexperienced labor. Fit is always key. You could ask the Alden store if they have more copies of the boot in your size so you can inspect for better workmanship. Another avenue for Alden is Shoemart.com - fast shipping and easy returns.

If your size in White's is backordered it could be a few months before it's back in stock - you just never know.
 

corpseposeur

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I don't find either style to be dressy - that's just my opinion. I would put them in the "smart casual" category. You could wear with jeans and jacket - that kind of look. But not really with nice trousers/jacket. To me they both work with denim/cords/chinos and button-down.

As for issues with stitching and such, my opinion is the pandemic as created a labor problem for the industry and many makers have more QC issues due to inexperienced labor. Fit is always key. You could ask the Alden store if they have more copies of the boot in your size so you can inspect for better workmanship. Another avenue for Alden is Shoemart.com - fast shipping and easy returns.

If your size in White's is backordered it could be a few months before it's back in stock - you just never know.
I think it might be the Indy boot for me.

I think if I was looking at the plain toe, I would have gone with the White's since they're a similar to the Alden's and I think the build would be solid. But the Indy boots have such a unique and distinct look. I also fell in love with the Truebalance last when I tried them on.

I think the denim/cords/chinos with a oxford shirt and a casual jacket or a sweater is what I had in mind to pair them with.
 

corpseposeur

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Update: I had two pairs of shoes that had passed their return window but as they were in perfect condition, I traded them for store credit at Leffot. They had one pair of Indys in my size in the Tobacco Reverse Chamois. I tried them on, they fit well, but upon closer inspection the moc-toe stitching was misaligned on the right shoe so much so that they it went over the rounded area of the toe so I rejected them. The other boot looked fine.The logo on the sole was stamped off center, but I could get over that. That pair was not worth the asking price of $621 to me. Leffot mentioned they’ll get a new delivery in a few weeks and I’ll check back then.
 

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